“Occupy Central” movement eventually happened. By now, the whole city is weary: bombarded by disputes, experienced a sense of loss in direction, and filled with reflections. Asking each other, yet nobody knows how this will end! Some find no hope with the people in Hong Kong. Others find lots of hope with the youth in Hong Kong. Some might still see a little prospect with the Hong Kong government. Others see prospect too remote with China and even with the global political world! All of a sudden, we realize we have put the fate of our society into the hands of a few who are in powers. Does God’s power also under its submission? God can bless people in democratic societies. He can also create miracles in totalistic societies and effect life changes! His gospel is not subject to any human institution but overrides all of them. Our God is real, more real than a true democracy! Whether it is with people’s ideal world or the real world, let us see His presence in all circumstances. Our society although mixed with people who determine to voice out and people who choose to remain silence, is by large still intact, and have not been torn apart. There are many who are still committed to their families and make contributions to the society.
In 1814, Napoleon lost and Paris fell; in 1914, World War I started; it’s now 2014 and humans still have yet to learn from history. There are people being plunged into an abyss of misery and our land is beset by war. From the news and messages circulating on online communication media, people are extremely concerned about the brutalities of ISIS, an extremist Islamic organisation in Iraq. Children and civilians are killed or forced to leave their home in great fear. The world has no idea how to bring this to an end.
‘Spitting is disgusting and will be subject to a penalty of HKD 2,000.’ After years of hygiene education, Hong Kong people have learnt the importance of keeping our city clean. Whether it is for promoting health or securing life, or for minimizing the economic loss, or for effective allocation of medical resources, ‘prevention superior than cure’ is the obvious principle behind. Similarly when facing the destructive disasters, there are measures to mitigate and resist the impact and damages caused by natural and human hazards. Ironically, human hazards are usually the most destructive power in a disaster.
After working in the pharmaceutical industry for almost twenty years; I left my career life in 2010 and went into study in a bible seminary for life transformation. After graduation in 2013, God led me to join CEDAR to learn how to be His faithful servant.
In the past I did not pay much attention to the needs of the poor but through the service in CEDAR, God shows me how He cares so much for those oppressed by poverty. CEDAR’s Chief Executive Dr. Chan Nim Chung often comments that the world of the poor only lacks material goods but is rich in other aspects. This is paradoxical and not easy to understand; until I visited Africa in last November.
In Zimbabwe I met a few students who receive support from CEDAR’s partner. Although they live a very harsh life, they always praise God and the hymns they sing showing their overflowing joy deeply touch my heart. In Ethiopia I visited a mother with her 8-year old daughter; they have only US$0.50 to spend each day and their home is virtually empty. However the little girl has an unforgettable smile always on her face, a smile that is not easily seen even in Hong Kong. These encounters help me to understand more about the Lord Jesus’ comforting words to the church in Smyrna, ‘I know your… poverty (but you are rich)…’ and His warning to the church in Laodicea, ‘…you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor…’ The situations of these two early churches are very different and worthy of consideration by the churches of today.
Almost one quarter of the children in Zimbabwe are AIDS orphans and their local communities have set up Child Protection Committees making up of adults who voluntarily look after the children, giving money, support and love. Their behaviour helps me to understand Jesus’ words to His disciples after His resurrection, ‘As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ Father God sent our Lord Jesus to be the Incarnate Word among us; God is abundant but for us, He is willing to share with us His all.
‘Sharing’ is an expression of God’s love. Our world too much emphasizes on the value of ‘possessing’ and it seems that we will need to go against the mainstream if we are to return to the teaching of the bible. I thank God for helping me to learn from the poor and pray that in future I will work harder to practice the bible’s teaching in life.
David is responsible for CEDAR’s administration and development work. Previously he was in commercial management. He joined CEDAR last August after graduation from bible seminary.
Hong Kong people in middle-aged or above are familiar with a song of Sam Hui in the 70’s describing the hardship from water suspension; and remember the day we shouted ‘Hey My Neighbours below, turn off your water tap!’ Nowadays with the steady water supply from Dongjiang, we seldom need to worry about water shortage. Instead we often hear people advocating today for a simple lifestyle for environmental sake. In fact this is easier to say than to do. The easiest way maybe is pushing the government, manufacturers and logistics industry to take up their responsibilities in environmental protection. However, what they supply every day is merely for satisfying and stimulating our unlimited material demand.
A sponsored child in Ethiopia wrote ‘Jesus is LORD’ on the wall at home.
Dear brothers and sisters,
In the last couple of decades, there were lots of discussions around the globe on the issues of poverty alleviation and development. People have exhausted all political and economical means but failed to solve the problem of income inequality. And in fact the global wealth gap has become wider and wider. The optimistic belief and confidence relying on human wisdom to solve this issue grows dim and dim, and even displaced by hopelessness and blame.